Please sign in to post.

Cruise lines Rules

I really appreciated what Bob posted to my thread about Military Tattoo

I really appreciate your post about the cruise ship might not allow passengers to use local tour companies. I called Princess about this last night. They said they have not set all the rules yet. I wanted to get some opinions here for there ppl as well. This seems totally unfair to both passengers as well as local companies.. I think if the cruise is still unsafe the CDC should cancel the cruise.

Does anyone have any other ideas on this.. Some ports I might not even want an excursion. I do not think it fair to force me to buy one to get off and back on the ship. and not fair to locals that already compete with the cruise lines.

Michelle

Posted by
1767 posts

Honestly, I think that the CDC doesn’t have any real jurisdiction over a cruise in Europe

And if the cruise lines think they can get away with telling you you can only use their tours, they’re going to. I did a cruise to Russia. And the amount of flat out untruths told to us by the cruise line about touring in St. Petersburg were astonishing. Most the people I met on the cruise were absolutely convinced so I was going to be left in Saint Petersburg or a victim of horrible crime because I dared not to take the official tour. The cruise line had literally basically terrified people into not doing anything but using their tour

Posted by
163 posts

well what can you do about it? I want to use an outside vendor that I think offers a better tour. I also want to go out on my own in some ports.

Michelle

Posted by
1228 posts

These rules were proposed and adopted by a cruise line organization (sorry, I do not remember which one) as an effort to control the possible spread of COVID 19 aboard cruse ships. The ships tours are to be from the ship only on only go to places vetted by the cruise lines for safety. They have special agreements with sites/restaurants to keep their groups separated. This assumes everyone was tested and was free of the COVID when they boarded the ship.

It may not be fair, but as long as they make this known up front I do not see anything legally wrong, and for people that go on cruises for the "cruise" it works rather well. Not your typical RS traveler.

Posted by
2936 posts

The association Bob was referring to is CLIA. You can look it up.

Not sure where your idea of fairness comes into play in the middle of a pandemic. It's a matter of public health. To protect not only that pax and crew of the cruise ships, but also the people in the ports being visited. These rules were enforced last year by the European lines doing limited cruises. I see no reason why they wouldn't continue to do so for this year . Especially considering that it is highly unlikely that vaccination programs will be completed by all countries this cruise year.

If you find cruise excursions to be unacceptable, then you should probably consider a lift and shift to another year.

Posted by
18 posts

If you join and go on Boards with Cruise Critic, these concerns are discussed at length. You can use their search tool, or go under the Cruise Line or the Port. All of these questions remain to be answered. Most of the members feel cruise lines will not operate in Europe in 2021. The main reason being that air travel is shut down or could close leaving people unable to return home.

Posted by
2066 posts

Bob aptly describes the COVID-era rules and restrictions. The cruise lines' first priority is the safety of their clients and crew. In addition, the towns where cruise lines dock are also sensitive to a weekly surge of "new people" in the area. And hence, one result is the shore excursion restrictions as Bob described. Hopefully, in these COVID times, your cruise will sail as scheduled - and even better - these COVID restrictions won't be necessary and you can travel freely when going ashore. But until then, these COVID rules will apply. We've all seen the stories - even recently - of infections occurring aboard a cruise ship even when everyone boarded with a negative test.

I have sailed with Princess often and they do provide detailed Terms & Conditions. If you bought the cruise from a Travel Agent, Online Vendor, Costco, etc, it is the responsibility of the seller to provide you these terms and conditions. In addition, Princess also has a COVID-19 - Cruise with Confidence document that provides information and procedures about your health, safety, and well-being. And lastly, some cruises are now adding a COVID waiver.

These are strange times and everyone is working to provide the "best" options for everyone - cruisers, crew, and local folks in the arrival ports. And until there's not a COVID threat, cruising - and travel - will be different. I would guess that Princess, like all cruise lines, would address these restrictions in their T&C or secondary documentation at the time of deposit of finalized booking.

Posted by
7492 posts

well what can you do about it? I want to use an outside vendor that I think offers a better tour. I also want to go out on my own in some ports.

The ports where the ship stops, have or are making rules about having 100s or 1000s of outsiders pouring in. Given the situation that seems prudent. The cruise line has no vote in those decisions. It obviously can lobby for a position/procedure, but is at the mercy of the jurisdiction.

The cruise line has no absolute 'right' to dock in a port and disgorge passengers. In normal times a port is happy to have cruise ships come given the economic benefit to the local economy. In the present situation the cost of having hundreds or thousands of people sick and needing hospitalization is a greater detriment than the commercial benefit of having tourists spending money in port.

If you see it as 'unfair', you can choose not to go if the conditions are not suitable to your needs. The other choice is to lobby the lawmakers in the various jurisdictions to enact laws to permit what you want.

This not intended to be harsh criticism, but a bit of 'back to earth' reality check.

Agree with an earlier comment that the CDC has nothing to do with or authority over cruise ships in Europe.

Given the current situation, a cruise in August seems highly unlikely

My $0.02

Posted by
3789 posts

MSC Cruises is the first cruise line that returned to cruising last summer. It set the precedence for a lot of the 'proposed' framework for cruise line rules for sailing in the near future.
They went to the extent of denying reboarding to people who broke away from the cruise excursion 'pods' - just like they published they would. However, after a few months covid did find its way onto the ships and they had to cancel cruises.
Keep in mind, MSC is an independent private cruise line so allow to set their own rules, but it had success and the other cruise lines may follow suit. The organization that controls the cruising in US waters was seriously looking at that framework, but instead of inflicting that they have just continued to delay cruise starts.
Also, consider it may be the requirement of the ports as well. Some are not equipped to manage covid outbreaks due to limited medical infrastructure. The concept of limiting access to a 'bubble' or 'pod' has been recommended by the CDC globally, so the ship becomes a bubble and it and its passengers are only wanted when it is kept away from the locals. And you are not cruising in US waters, so expectations need to be flexible.
Covid isn't 'fair' to anyone, but globally, there is the thought that there should be a social effort to try and reduce it. People have their own way of complying or not, but if you engage into a contract with a cruise company to go on their cruise....and you do agree to follow their rules and regulations when you book....then you are expected to follow whatever they lay out; or be left behind.
This is just a further extension of what you can expect on board - which has a good chance of being mask wearing, distancing, no self serve buffet and a whole lot of handwashing.
I expect you haven't paid your final payment as this seems to be an August cruise. If you don't know the expectations by final payment day, then you can decide whether to forfeit your deposit for the sake of independence, or commit to playing ball by their rules.
I have a MSC cruise credit with a shorter expiry date than many other lines. I have something in Europe booked for September. I am not a fan of the concept of excursion bubbles either...at least not on the route I have booked. I am waiting until that route starts sailing in May to see what this year's rules will be. Then I have a few weeks to decide before final payment whether I can accept the new rules or not.

Posted by
3789 posts

I'll add that this is the time to consider joining Cruise Critic cruising forum (they call them 'boards'. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/ There are Princess cruise boards, and something called a 'roll call' for specific sailings. As the concept of restricted port visits is new to you, you have a lot of opportunity to get information there, and if you join your sailing's 'roll call', then you can discuss with them what they consider might be the outcome. Also there, if things open up, you may find others who have created small group tours that are often cheaper than the ship ones, or can recommend what to do in ports. Given the uncertainty of what cruising is really going to look like in the next year, you may benefit from the support of 10s of 1000s of other cruisers....primarily from the US.

Posted by
163 posts

We just received our first Covid 19 vaccine today and are scheduled to get the 2nd one in Feb 13. It takes 2- 4 weeks to develop immunity. no objection to being tested just before the cruise either. If the vaccine works than the number of cases and deaths should drop dramatically by June. If they don't they don't and then If the cruise is not safe. It should be canceled anyway. we wear masks everywhere we go. I do not see if the cruise is allowed to sail and dock why the cruise line should be able to take advantage of a pandemic for profit.

Posted by
3789 posts

You are entitled to your opinion. You may have your vaccine, but not everyone globally will have it. It appears you are not wanting to acknowledge that it may be the port and country that may dictate the rules.

Cruise lines are most likely offering an option to get off the ship that is acceptable to other powers that be. Alternatively, you won't be getting off at all. For what it is worth, MSC had reduced their excursion costs and created options at a variety of price points so people could do something on land. If it is clear that independent departure isn't allowed, Princess may do similar. You would be wise to check back to the excursion part of your cruise regularly.
Regardless, it is not realistic to over plan until you know what will be allowed; but you can decide personally what your 'no go' situation will be and prepare for the possibility of being disappointed.

Posted by
1767 posts

I think your assumption if the vaccine works everything will look better by June is highly optimistic. by June most of the United States still won’t be vaccinated . I don’t know how it’s working in the rest of the world but you are not going to see a significant decrease until we have certain amount of vaccinations. And I think we’re looking at fall for that. I mean we still haven’t gotten everyone over 65 vaccinated much less move down to the great majority under 65. My mother lives in a senior citizen community that probably has 400 residents and I would say 20 of them have been vaccinated. And these are people that has someone actively chasing down a vaccine for them. My father lives in a senior community in Florida and he told me that basically no one in his very large community has been able to get a vaccine yet. There’s a lot of people out there that still aren’t vaccinated that are in the high priority groups.

Posted by
6632 posts

One cruise ship stop at a port in Greece spread COVID there. Ports have a right to protect their own residents. A worldwide pandemic is changing the rules as it should be,

Posted by
4706 posts

It's true that cruise lines profit by selling "their" tours (actually operated by local companies that may also sell them independently), but in this case their profit motive "happily" coincides with science-based public health practices. No port wants to expose its population to possibly infected cruse passengers, and no cruise line wants its passengers exposed to possibly infected people in the ports. Hence the excursion bubble.

As for cruising at all under these conditions, we're giving it a pass for the foreseeable future, and we generally like cruises. Two couples on our street got caught on ships in the early stages of the pandemic last year and it wasn't pretty. There can be a thin line between the safe "bubble" and the hazardous "petri dish."

Posted by
2936 posts

If the vaccine works than the number of cases and deaths should drop
dramatically by June.

I would love to know on what you are basing this extremely rosy assumption. It's doubtful that even the mighty, infallible USA could achieve this, let alone the rest of the less perfect world. It will be a great feat just to get ships crews vaccinated, when vaccinations in 3rd world countries may be in very short supply for at least the next year. In case you are unaware- crew must have all their vaccinations up to date, at their own expense, before they can join their ship. And this is assuming that they would be allowed entry into the country where their ship is berthed.

And it is up to each individual country (or the EU for much of Europe) to set the requirements under which as ship may be allowed to make port. Visits by pax may well continue to be restricted to ship excursions only to protect that country's citizens.

Posted by
163 posts

I think Europe is ahead of us in the control of Covid.. Yes the third world is going to be behind.. That is not fair either, but it is alwasy that way. I never said I would not cancel this trip if I feel things have not improved.

I called Princess and they are still up in the air if they will do this.. My point was it is not fair to passengers or to even local vendors to allow only a big company to sell tours. If it is not safe for a ma and pa to take out 4-8 ppl in a mini van, than I do not think it is safe for anyone old this and the cruise should be cancelled. Even if the cruise line loses money. Just like if it is not safe for a small eatery to be open it is not fair to allow a large chain to be open either.

Yes, I know the cruise lines are hemorrhaging money.. Just like many businesses are. But if it is not safe for anyone to get off the ship than it is not.

Posted by
163 posts

The idea of a Covid free bubble did NOT work. I just doesn't.. RCCL tried experimental Cruises and it failed miserably. You can tell passengers to wash their hands and socially distance, but you cant make them or have the Covid police watch them every minute.

I am aware that if things have not improved through vaccinations, than the cruise should be cancelled. I am covered under Cruise with Confidence and accept that. What upsets me is to let a ship sail after taking the passengers money and telling then they can only leave and come back if they buy your excursions. If a local ma and pa is not safe than neither is a cruise ship excursion. It will hardly do any local economy any good if a passenger can't go into a store to buy things or buy a drink on shore.

What is really bugging me if the cruise line wants to have rules like this. they should post them now Passengers have a right to decide if they want to travel under such restrictions. So far I can't get a straight answer about it. I do not want ti find out that I have to comply with this 2 days before travel

The problems is most all Cruise lines are private and owned outside of the US. They do this to avoid taxes.

Posted by
3226 posts

For what it’s worth most cruise ships are not U.S. flagged. Many are registered in Liberia, Panama, Bahamas, etc., so the U.S. has minimal jurisdiction over anything they do.

I’m not certain how a cruise line would know if you hired a local company once you walked away from the pier. Just remember that if you use a local company and are late returning, the cruise line won’t hold the ship for you. It will be up to you, and expense, to get to the next port of call. If you’re only allowed off the ship on one of its activities, that’s a different story.

Posted by
1228 posts

They do not care if you hire a private tour company, you are just not allowed to leave the ship unless you are on one of their tours. If you do leave the ship or one of their tours, you will not be allowed to come back on the ship.

Posted by
1228 posts

"The problems is most all Cruise lines are private and owned outside of the US. They do this to avoid taxes."

That is one reason, but the main reason is they do not want to have to comply with US wage and hour laws.

Posted by
1228 posts

"I think Europe is ahead of us in the control of Covid.. Yes the third world is going to be behind.. That is not fair either, but it is alwasy that way. I never said I would not cancel this trip if I feel things have not improved."

Not true. The latest statistics are (from Harvard Global Health Institute) in new cases in the last 7 days per 100,000 population.

US 57.4
Spain 55.4
United Kingdom 59.6
Ireland 54.6
Portugal 108.4

We are about equal to many of the countries in Europe. When given the raw numbers we look much worse because our population is so much larger than any one of the individual countries.

Posted by
1295 posts

Life isn’t fair and rules are put in place to prevent chaos. If the only way a cruise line can operate is to prevent passengers from wandering all over each port is by creating a “ bubble” that is what they will have to do to prevent Covid from leaving the ship and infecting citizens of that area, and to keep it off the ship.

I’m sorry, I want to travel too but unnecessary travel has been curtailed for good reason. I’ll wait until it is safe. Yes, I know some don’t have many good travel years left but life isn’t fair, I’m afraid.

Posted by
228 posts

I'm assuming your planned cruise will cover parts of the UK. The UK is well ahead of Europe in rolling out the vaccine - at the moment. Even so, we have been warned that people shouldn't act any differently once they've had a Covid vaccine as scientists "do not yet know the impact of the vaccine on transmission" and it could still be passed on.

No-one can predict when Lockdown restrictions will be lifted. Scotland is also a lot stricter than England, especially when it comes to travel restrictions. No-one knows when restrictions will be eased and it may well be into the summer.

Life just isn't fair at the moment.

Posted by
6543 posts

"I think Europe is ahead of us in the control of Covid

In addition to Bob’s excellent point above about Europe, I would also add that in terms of vaccinating the public, most of Europe (with the exception of the UK) is way behind the U.S.

The French health minister said this week that they hope to have the general adult population here vaccinated by end of August. Given the relation of earlier to projections to what ended up being reality, I read that to mean it will be the Autumn before we “regular” people get vaccinated. The pharmaceutical companies are having enormous problems delivering the volumes of vaccines they have sold — both in Europe and the United States.

You’re welcome to keep expressing your indignation, but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground.

Posted by
163 posts

Well you all have persuaded me.. I changed the cruise date from Aug 2021 to July 2022. Hs a few better ports actually so I guess my questions in the next few weeks will be of them.

Michelle

Posted by
3789 posts

Thanks for the update Michelle. Travel life will be more stable and foreseeable in 2022.
That being said, it is still not the time to plan too early, because there is no crystal ball of what companies or sites will be permanently closed as a fallout of this pandemic...and that means also what will be new on offer.
Not sure if Rick's cruise travel guide covers UK, but might be worth checking - I usually just check it out from my local library. Or maybe by then there will be a Cruise forum here - which we have asked for recently.

Posted by
163 posts

Well.. I am looking at what i might like. But not paying for anything until later. Just getting ideas. I feel so bad for many local vendors in these places I am wanting to see. I feel so bad how they are going to make a living this summer. They already lost last summer. So many jobs world wide need tourist.

Posted by
651 posts

I understand that tourist in Britain did pretty well last summer with all the Brits doing Stay-cations:-)

Posted by
2066 posts

I understand that tourist in Britain did pretty well last summer with
all the Brits doing Stay-cations:-)

Caro... not so sure about that... From Visit Britain

2020 forecast: We have forecast a central scenario for Britain of
£34.4 billion in domestic tourism spending in 2020, down 62% compared
to 2019 when spending by domestic tourists in Britain was £91.6bn.

And then there are the negative numbers for international travelers coming to Britain.

VisitBritain’s latest central scenario forecast for inbound tourism to
the UK in 2020 is for a decline of 76% in visits to 9.7 million and a
decline of 80% in spending to £5.7 billion. This would represent a
loss vs the pre-COVID forecast of 32.3 million visits and £24.7
billion in spending.

Like most locations worldwide, 2020 was a tough year for tourism revenue in Britain.

Posted by
3789 posts

Michelle, I understand your caring. Some tourist related tjings have gone virtual and on a pay per virtual tour type situation, so mayve doing some of those now may let you feel you are doing 'something' to help.
FWIW, Canada just closed all ports to cruise ships until Feb 2022. The new variants and slow pace of control and immunization means countries are trying to protect their health care systems.